As part of its recently launched New Business and Innovation Division, ASICS has announced five innovative businesses to benefit from TENKAN-TEN, a unique business growth program for ‘start-ups disrupting the sports and wellbeing sector’.
The five ambitious start-ups – varying from smart fabrics to artificial intelligence and motion capturing apps – were selected from around the world ‘based on their innovative products and services and commitment to inspiring movement in line with ASICS’ founding philosophy of Anima Sana In Corpore Sano – A Sound Mind in a Sound Body.’
The five businesses selected to benefit from the TENKAN-TEN programme, a Japanese expression for ‘Tipping Point’, are:
Runnin’ City (France): created in 2016 by two passionate sportsmen, Olivier Lebleu and Christophe Minodier in Lyon, the fitness discovery app allows users to explore cities while running. Used by a community of 50,000 runners and available in over 150 cities worldwide, the app offers ‘vocal GPS to guide runners on routes through new and exciting places’.
Curv (Canada): Canadian Shea Balish developed Curv in 2018 as a software that transforms the camera on mobile devices into a motion capture tool. Using AI technology, the software allows everyday athletes to transform their mobile device into a diagnostic tool to understand, track and analyse their movements through videos and images.
A-Champs (USA): founded in 2016 by CEO Kilian Saekel, the North American company has created a real-life gaming system to ensure children are kept active and healthy by presenting exercise as ‘play’ – using Bluetooth sensors, the console promotes children playing video games ‘on the move’.
Entrenarme (Spain): founded in 2014 by fitness duo, Diego Moya and Sebastian Borreani, the online platform helps people find their ideal training environment. Priding itself on practicality and ease of use, Entrenarme allows users to search for trainers and gyms closest to them whilst also being able to compare prices and availability.
Pyrates (Switzerland): founded in Geneva, Switzerland, by Spanish entrepreneur, Regina Polanco, the sustainable clothing company offers high-end performance streetwear with a difference. Through its revolutionary Pyratex technology, the clothing combines protein from organic agricultural vegetation with 17 kinds of amino acids to create an innovative yarn.
The start-up program will last four months from September 2018 until January 2019 with each company working directly from ASICS’ Innovation Centre in the heart of Barcelona, Spain. Each business will receive €30,000 financial support to benefit their project as well as direct access to senior ASICS and partner executives including Alistair Cameron (CEO of ASICS EMEA), Carsten Unbehaun (CEO of Haglöfs) and Dan Smith (President and GM of ASICS Digital).
Alongside this and as a commitment to ASICS’ ‘Sound Mind, Sound Body’ philosophy, all applicants will receive a wellbeing service including personal trainer sessions and nutrition plans. Following the four-month programme period they will also benefit from being part of the ASICS Alumni Membership Programme which will continue supporting their growth through ASICS’ partnerships with ACCIÓ, Barcelona Tech City and the Global Sports Innovation Centre powered by Microsoft.
Daniel Dümig, New Business and Innovation Manager of ASICS EMEA and leader of the TENKAN-TEN programme, said “We are extremely excited to announce the first set of businesses to benefit from the TENKAN-TEN programme. Not only does each business share our ambition to get the world moving, they also reflect ASICS’ focus on innovative new services, products, technologies, business models and consumer experiences to drive innovation, learning and expertise in the health and wellbeing sector. We can’t wait to see the results in 2019!”
The launch of a programme to support businesses committed to the health and wellbeing sector reflects ASICS’ I MOVE ME brand positioning and commitment to get the world moving, no matter people’s ability.
ASICS Ventures, the global investment subsidiary which recently invested in Ai Silk Corporation, ookami and EUPHORIA will work closely with the start-up project in order to pursue future innovations and business opportunities for ASICS.